Canadian Denis Shapovalov beat Spain’s Roberto Karbales Baena in three sets 7-6 (7), 6-3, 6-0 on Thursday in New York to advance to the third round of the US Open.
Seventh seed “Shapo” set the tone in the tiebreak, battling two set points with his serve. His opposite never recovered, resulting in the next three exchanges with balls in hand.
A break in the second set, and then three during the final clash, was enough to end this meeting in two hours and 11 minutes. Karpales Baena, the 95th in the world, actually won only 27% of the rally in turn, allowing his opponent to capitalize on eight break points in total.
Despite eight double faults, Shapovalov was very solid on duty, as evidenced by his nine aces. He played 63% of his first balls, and won 85% of the rally when he did.
Unable to respond in return, Karpalis Baena did a little better when he started the exchanges himself. He was surprised by the aggressiveness of Shapovalov, who won at least 50 rallyes using winning strokes.
Thus Shapovalov avenged after losing the only match between eAux, which took place at the 2020 French Open. The Spaniard had the upper hand in five sets.
In the third round, Shapovalov will find South African Lloyd Harris (46). The latter had the advantage in the only duel between them, in the semi-finals of the Dubai Championships earlier this year. He won in three sets 6-7 (5), 6-4 and 7-6 (6).
The Tel Aviv-born athlete is trying to do better than being in the quarter-finals of this major tournament last year. To get there, he may have to face Alexander Zverev (fourth) in the round of 16 and world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.
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